How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Teacher

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

This lesson will give you some tips for writing a letter of recommendation for a teacher. You will learn about how to capitalize on a person's strengths and prime them as a job candidate.

Recommending a Teacher

As teachers or school administrators, we are sometimes called upon to write recommendations for our colleagues. Perhaps you are recommending someone for a different teaching job or simply a different role in the school. It is professionally courteous and responsible to agree to write these letters. However, it can sometimes be challenging to figure out where to start! Even when you know a person well, it might be difficult to think about what exactly you should say to make them look their best and still sound honest and authentic. This lesson gives you some tips on how to write a strong letter of recommendation for a teacher.

Learn About the Job; Learn About the Candidate

Before you can write a good job recommendation for a teacher, you might need to do a little bit of research. Your letter will be more meaningful if you learn as much as you can about the job you are recommending this person for and also about the person you are recommending. Ask your colleague to send you a copy of his resume and cover letter for the position, so that you can get a sense of the accomplishments you may not know about and why he believes he is a good candidate. This information will help inform the characteristics you highlight in your letter. Then, ask him to tell you a little about the job. Why does your colleague want this job in particular? What are the responsibilities, and why does he feel he will be a good fit? Once you know what the job requirements are and what the responsibilities will look like, you will be able to design a letter that shows exactly how this person's strengths fit in with the job requirements. For instance, if the job involves teaching art, you can highlight her creativity. If it involves leading professional development, on the other hand, you can focus in on his demonstrated leadership skills in the professional context. It is not your job to pad your colleague's resume, but you can certainly draw attention to its most impressive and suitable features.

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